Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11379111

State: South Carolina Year: 1791

Abstract: Ann Summerall, the "Widow & administratrix of Jacob Summerall deceased who died in the late War in America," asserts his said estate "was not confiscated as far as your Petitioner knows or believes." She states, however, that "a negroe Fellow the property of the said Jacob Summerall was taken & applid towards the payment of a Captain Richard Johnson who Served at that time as a Captain in Col. Samuel Hammonds Regiment of State Dragoons." Averring that "neither your Petitioner nor her said husband having received any compensation for same," she prays that "she may have such relief as to you in wisdom shall seem meet."

PAR Number 11379306

State: South Carolina Year: 1793
Location: Fairfield Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Joannah Boylstone and her son, George Boylstone, administrators of the estate of William Boylstone, seek compensation for a "Negro Wench" named Rachel worth about seventy-five pounds. Rachel, the petitioners contend, was "forcibly taken & carried off by an armed party of Troops under the command of Genl. Sumter"; William Boylstone "supposed her to have run away or been stolen." In 1790, learning she was held by Major John Davidson in North Carolina, Boylstone brought suit. At the trial in September 1791, the evidence revealed that Rachel had been taken up by troops under the command of Colonel Henry Hampton of Sumter's Brigade and then turned over to Thomas Williams, a soldier in the brigade, as payment for his services (eighty-six pounds sterling) during the war. It was ruled that according to the laws of North and South Carolina owners of slaves taken up as payment to Revolutionary soldiers should apply to their respective legislatures for relief, whereby Boylstone lost his case after considerable expense. The petitioner further lament that, by the time this occurred, the South Carolina Auditor's Office no longer accepted claims for such property. The petitioners, as the widow and orphan of said deceased, confide that they are both "in very indigent circumstances" and that "they are without Remedy except from the Justice of the General Assembly” as they have not recovered "any satisfaction for his said Negro taken and appropriated as aforesaid in payment of one of the just Debts of this State."

PAR Number 11379308

State: South Carolina Year: 1793
Location: Fairfield Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Joannah Boylstone and her son, George Boylstone, administrators of the estate of William Boylstone, seek compensation for a "Negro Wench" named Rachel worth about seventy-five pounds. Rachel, the petitioners contend, was "forcibly taken & carried off by an armed party of Troops under the command of Genl. Sumter"; William Boylstone "supposed her to have run away or been stolen." In 1790, learning she was held by Major John Davidson in North Carolina, Boylstone brought suit. At the trial in September 1791, the evidence revealed that Rachel had been taken up by troops under the command of Colonel Henry Hampton of Sumter's Brigade and then turned over to Thomas Williams, a soldier in the brigade, as payment for his services (eighty-six pounds sterling) during the war. It was ruled that according to the laws of North and South Carolina owners of slaves taken up as payment to Revolutionary soldiers should apply to their respective legislatures for relief, whereby Boylstone lost his case after considerable expense. The petitioner further lament that, by the time this occurred, the South Carolina Auditor's Office no longer accepted claims for such property. The petitioners, as the widow and orphan of said deceased, confide that they are both "in very indigent circumstances" and that "they are without Remedy except from the Justice of the General Assembly” as they have not recovered "any satisfaction for his said Negro taken and appropriated as aforesaid in payment of one of the just Debts of this State."

PAR Number 11379313

State: South Carolina Year: 1793
Location: Washington Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Alexander Chavis asserts that "a valuable negroe wench the Property of your Petitioner, was said to be taken by Orders of Genl Pickens for public Use, and given in payment to Capt. John Norwood as a Reward for having Killed a certain John Masterson a notorious & mischievous Enemy of the Country." Chavis reports, however, that Pickens informed him that he had never issued such an order, whereupon Chavis sued the man who had possession of said slave but he lost said suit. Being too late to make a restitution claim to the claims commission, Chavis submits his case for restitution for "said Wench and her issue" as well as the "heavy Expences incurred in prosecuting the Suit" and "solicits such Relief in the Premises as may be deemed proper & just."

PAR Number 11379804

State: South Carolina Year: 1798

Abstract: Holman Freeman recounts that, "in an expedition against the Cherokee Nation of Indians in the year 1782," General Andrew Pickens "captured nine negroes from the enemy," which were sold to make a division of the proceeds among the soldiers; said sale "was afterwards approved of and confirmed by the Legislature of this State in and by the act of Assembly passed the 21st of March 1784." The petitioner affirms that he purchased three of said slaves and that "the same negroes and their increase have since been recovered from your Petitioner ... in an action of Trover, wherein the Jury gave a conditional verdict, either to surrender or give up the same negroes and their increase, or to pay the amount of twenty four hundred Dollars with costs of suit to the original owner." Freeman seeks relief.

PAR Number 11380301

State: South Carolina Year: 1803
Location: Kershaw Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Joshua Dinkins, "now aged and infirm," seeks compensation for "two very Valuable Negroe Slaves," taken and "carried away" by the "Rebel Colonel James Cary." Dinkins declares that there "are now in the district of Kershaw nine Slaves who were the property of the said James Cary and subject to ... the confiscation Act." He therefore prays that "your hon body to make him a reasonable recompense" from "the said nine Slaves which were the property of the said James Cary and not disposed of by the Authority of the State."

PAR Number 11381408

State: South Carolina Year: 1814
Location: Fairfield Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Cook of Georgia states that his wife, Mary Ellen Hampton Cook, "became entitled to a certain negroe man, by name Ellis" as a legatee in the will of her maternal grandfather, George Dawkins. Cook reveals that his father-in-law, Colonel Edward Hampton, was killed during the American Revolution and that the said Ellis was accidentally shot and killed by militia in pursuit "of certain persons known to be inimical to the cause of this country." Noting that his wife has never received any kind of remuneration "for this accidental misfortune," the petitioner prays "for some indemnification in right of his wife."

PAR Number 11381801

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Richland Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Jacob Killingsworth, once "a publick soldier in the defence and protection of his country at Charleston," represents that "the only negro he possessed" was "taken, tried and sentenced to be hung for burning a barn." Killingsworth confides that "he is poor, infirm and weak in body and on him alone, depends a large, young and helpless family for their support, maintenance and education." He therefore prays that he may be allowed "a compensation in money equal in value to the negro Frank."

PAR Number 11382216

State: South Carolina Year: 1822
Location: Chester Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Jennet Knox, "Widow and Executrix of Hugh Knox," seeks payment of a claim made to the legislature on numerous previous occasions. Knox states that Shadrack Jacobs was entitled to a slave or eighty pounds for his services in Wade Hampton's Regiment of South Carolina troops during the American Revolution; in 1793, Jacobs sold his claim to Hugh Knox "for a valuable consideration." Presenting vouchers that "satisfactorily" substantiate her claims, she prays that "the Honble Senate will still be disposed to do her and her orphan children that justice which she requires at the hands of her country."

PAR Number 11382321

State: South Carolina Year: 1823

Abstract: Suffering from wounds inflicted during the American Revolution, free black John Chavis seeks a soldier's pension. Chavis asserts that he enlisted in 1780 and served until "near the close of the war when he was discharged on account of the many wounds he received." Confiding that he "is now old and by reason of the said wounds is unable to support himself by his Labour," the petitioner prays that he be placed "on the pension list."

PAR Number 11382501

State: South Carolina Year: 1825

Abstract: Joseph Streable states that John Chavis, a free man of color, petitioned in 1823 to secure a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War; said petition was denied "in consequence of his not having appointed a Guardian (which law he was ignorant of) previously to such application." Streable, confident that the next session would grant said Chavis his pension, became "security for the aforesaid poor old veteran to save him from starving." He declares, however, that "in order to save the poor old man," he "has nearly become bankrupt himself." Reporting that Chavis "was killed by the fall of a tree," the petitioner prays your Honble body to remunerate him for his charity to one so deserving your support as the aforesaid John Chavis -- particularly when the sum requisite is so small as one hundred and ten Dollars."

PAR Number 11382903

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Barnwell Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Busby, a free man of color, proudly proclaims that "he entered the army of the Revolution in the Militia of this State in the early part of the year 1777." Busby states that "although he was a regular enlisted soldier, it so happened that the discharge of his other duties [protecting the provisions of his company] prevented his taking a part in any important engagement." The petitioner, now nearly eighty years old and infirm, reports that "for his services which he flatters himself were important to his country he never received any compensation whatever." Confiding that he is "no longer able to work for his support," Busby prays "that he may be placed on the pension list and thereby kept free from absolute want for the short period he has to live."

PAR Number 11382905

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Barnwell Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Busby, a free man of color, proudly proclaims that "he entered the army of the Revolution in the Militia of this State in the early part of the year 1777." Busby states that "although he was a regular enlisted soldier, it so happened that the discharge of his other duties [protecting the provisions of his company] prevented his taking a part in any important engagement." The petitioner, now nearly eighty years old and infirm, reports that "for his services which he flatters himself were important to his country he never received any compensation whatever." Confiding that he is "no longer able to work for his support," Busby prays "that he may be placed on the pension list and thereby kept free from absolute want for the short period he has to live."

PAR Number 11383603

State: South Carolina Year: 1836
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Moses Irvin, a seventy-five-year-old free person of color emancipated for his "faithful services" during the Revolutionary War, seeks to free his wife Harriet and the "two children, which she has born him." Representing that both he and Harriet, whom he purchased, "are far advanced in years," the petitioner "is rendered very unhappy by the situation of his children, who are the persons that he would leave what little he has to, but who are in danger of being seized after his death as vacant property - and confiscated for the use of the State." He therefore "humbly asks your attention to his appeal to your humanity" and "prays that you would be pleased to sanction his children's freedom by allowing them to follow the condition of their father."

PAR Number 11384007

State: South Carolina Year: 1840
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Jehu Jones, a free person of color, admits that he was induced to leave his "Happy Home" in South Carolina in 1832 "by promises of great Remuneration in money & valuable Lands, made by the Friends of the American Colonization Society to Engage my Services for Liberia." Forty-five-year-old Jones states that he was promised land, the assistant editorship of a newspaper, and a teaching position if he were “to Emigrate to Africa.” He laments, however, that upon his arrival in the North he discovered said promises were "merely a delusion" and that the Society "abandoned me to my fate, among Strangers Jealous of new commers, without friends, without funds & without Employment." Jones confides that he "should have returned home immediately in disgust with the Erroneous Philantrophy held up to me, But knowing The Laws of my Native State, which I Ever Respect forbid me, return," he instead stayed eight years in "diligent Search" for "a place that I can Reconcile myself to Live in." Now living in Philadelphia with his wife, who is also unhappy, Jones expresses "an ardent desire to visit the grave of my Father, the spot where I was Born, grew up & lived respectably for Nearly half a century." He therefore respectfully begs “the Legislature of my Native State to permit my Return to South Carolina."

PAR Number 11385008

State: South Carolina Year: 1850
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Free person of color Robert Hopton seeks to have his annual capitation tax remitted by the state due to his service during the Mexican War. Hopton reports that he worked as a servant in the Palmetto Regiment and remained with the regiment during "all the Battles of the Valley, rendering every attention to the Sick and wounded, and that whenever these duties would permit he shouldered his musket & fought in the ranks." Now "considerably impaired" and "somewhat unable to earn an honest livelihood by his exertions," Hopton "humbly and respectfully prays, that your Honorable Bodies will remit the annual State Capitation Taxes of your Petitioner."

PAR Number 11386601

State: South Carolina Year: 1866
Location: Barnwell Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Seventy-two-year-old former slave George Daniel seeks assistance in his old age. Relating that he served on a privateer in the War of 1812, he avers that "he was faithful and loyal to his ... master and his family, that he has been polite and respectful to all." Daniel declares that "no resident of the state, more deeply deplores the disastrous termination of the war to both White and Black than does your Petitioner." He therefore "respectfully prays that its Representatives of his beloved state will do something to help the old man in his declining years."

PAR Number 11481703

State: Tennessee Year: 1817
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighty-six citizens of Greene County pray that Joshua Hall, a free man of color, have the "priviledge of proving by his own oath, when he cant by any other person, his account." They cite that the said Hall "pays Tax ... he does military Duty ... he performed a Tour of duty during the late War with credit to himself & lastly because We believe him to be an honest man."

PAR Number 11482702

State: Tennessee Year: 1827

Abstract: Revolutionary War veteran Joshua Hadley asks that seven slaves be emancipated rather than "fall into the hands of his [six] ungrateful and cruel children," all of "whom he has raised & educated and rendered independent" and of whom only one "will now speak to him." Avowing that said slaves "have been obedient and dutiful servants to him," Hadley prays that five slaves "may now be emancipated" and that two others "may be emancipated at the death of his wife Hannah Hadley."

PAR Number 11482707

State: Tennessee Year: 1827
Location: White Location Type: County

Abstract: John Dale of White County states that "he is reduced to the state of an entire Cripple." He further represents that "he is now old, and infirm in other regards" and has "the care of a wife, and a considerable family of small children, without the aid of slaves, servants, or sons." Having "performed Military service during the Revolutionary struggle of the United States," Dale admits that "he never filed a declaration, in order to receive a pension from the United States." The petitioner therefore prays that a law be passed, "granting and extending to him the right and previlege of retailing spiritous liquors at any place within the state, without any other or further Licence."

PAR Number 11482906

State: Tennessee Year: 1829
Location: Smith Location Type: County

Abstract: One hundred seventy-four Smith County residents petition in behalf of Capt. Edward Settles, a veteran of the American Revolution whose slave Daniel was executed in 1825 for committing a rape. The petitioners reveal that said Daniel "was the principal reliance of said Settles for a support and unless he receives some compensation from the State, he will be left destitute in his old age." They therefore "humbly pray that such relief may be granted him by your ... body as may be considered due to a warworn, worthy, destitute old man, whose principal means of support have been taken from him by a State prosecution."

PAR Number 11482907

State: Tennessee Year: 1829
Location: Smith Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-seven Smith County residents petition in behalf of Capt. Edward Settles, a veteran of the American Revolution whose slave Daniel was executed in 1825 for committing a rape. The petitioners reveal that said Daniel "was the principal reliance of said Settles for a support and unless he receives some compensation from the State, he will be left destitute in his old age." They therefore "humbly pray that such relief may be granted him by your ... body as may be considered due to a warworn, worthy, destitute old man, whose principal means of support have been taken from him by a State prosecution."

PAR Number 11482908

State: Tennessee Year: 1829
Location: Smith Location Type: County

Abstract: One hundred thirty-one Smith County residents petition in behalf of Capt. Edward Settles, a veteran of the American Revolution whose slave Daniel was executed in 1825 for committing a rape. The petitioners reveal that said Daniel "was the principal reliance of said Settles for a support and unless he receives some compensation from the State, he will be left destitute in his old age." They therefore "humbly pray that such relief may be granted him by your ... body as may be considered due to a warworn, worthy, destitute old man, whose principal means of support have been taken from him by a State prosecution."

PAR Number 11482910

State: Tennessee Year: 1829
Location: White Location Type: County

Abstract: Sixty-six-year-old John Dale seeks permission "to retail spiritous liquors to travellers and others." Revealing that "he is a cripple," Dale reports that, even though "he did much service in the Revolutionary war," he is not eligible for "pensions to the old revolutionary characters of the Union." He further states that "although he has a large farm, together with Stock of horses, cattle, hogs &c sufficient for his own use, yet he has neither Slave, nor son, to cultivate his farm." Positioned "on a publick road," Dale prays that a law be passed "to grant to your petitioner the previlege of retailing spiritous liquors without Licence," thereby greatly facilitating "his means of subsistence, and [enabling] him to convert his produce to some extent into money, affording him the means of hiring labour to cultivate his farm, & provide the other necessary comforts of life."

PAR Number 11483102

State: Tennessee Year: 1831
Location: Henry Location Type: County

Abstract: Ninety-three residents of Henry County join seventy-year-old William Bailey in requesting that he receive compensation for a twenty-three-year-old slave who was killed "by the fall of tree whilst he was at work as a hand under an overseer of a publick high road." Bailey avows that said slave was "the only negro he had" and that "he would at the time of his death have commanded five hundred dollars." The petitioners therefore pray that Bailey, who "shouldered a gun" against the "British Tyrants" in his "youthful days," be granted "a reasonable compensation for the loss of said negro."

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